Hamas officials: Headquarters will stay in Syria

Cairo not interested in encouraging division among Palestinians, PLO representation enough, says Egypt's envoy to Gaza Strip, West Bank.

Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking  (R) 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas has no intention of moving its headquarters out of Syria, its Deputy Political Bureau Chief Musa Abu Marzuk on Saturday, according to Israel Radio.
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar has also confirmed that Hamas has not handed in an official request to Egypt to relocate its offices to its territory.
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According to Egypt’s envoy to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yasser Othman, the issue is not being discussed at all in Egypt. Othman also stressed that Cairo sees PLO representation in its country as sufficient and will not be taking any steps to encourage divisions among the Palestinians.
The report comes after Zahar announced on Friday that he is considering the possibility of moving the group’s headquarters from Damascus to Cairo.
“All the Palestinians in Syria are in distress, and it’s not just Hamas,” Zahar said.
“When it comes down to where the headquarters of the organization are located, there are many options, and Egypt is one of them,” he continued.
This is not the first time that reports have surfaced about Hamas moving its headquarters out of Syria.
In April, the group said it had no plans to move its headquarters from Damascus to Qatar because of the unrest in Syria.
“Hamas is continuing to carry out its work in Damascus,” said Izat Risheq, a member of the Hamas political bureau. “There is no change on our status in Syria.”
The London-based pan- Arab daily Al-Hayat reported that Syria asked Hamas to leave the country and that Qatar only agreed to receive the movement’s political leadership. The report claimed that Egypt and Jordan refused to receive the Hamas leadership.
The paper said that the decision to ask Hamas to leave Syria came in response to the movement’s support for the popular uprising in that country.